While 2020 may not have been the year we were anticipating, there are still some gems out there for the offering.
By Sean Blanford
Well, everyone, we’ve made it. To say that 2020 has been a year filled with unprecedented circumstances would be an understatement, and with the theater industry holding on for dear life and the blockbusters we were anticipating to be released were shelved until 2021 (or further), streaming services and the advent of premium video on demand have been our avenue as film lovers to get our fill in. There may not have been the heavy hitters like Black Widow, Fast 9, or No Time to Die, but there were still some diamonds in the rough to make up for it. I’ve gotten to nearly one-hundred films released this year, and in part two you will find out my top twenty films of 2020. For now here are the films that I rated 3.75 stars or higher that just missed the cut. To preface, there are some films I may have missed, and this is 100% subjective. My hope is that you may discover something that wasn’t on your radar beforehand. As for now, here are my honorable mentions for my favorite films of 2020.
All of the films that comprise the list of twenty favorites are narratives, but here are five films that I would consider specialties and/or documentaries that I loved.
Hamilton and David Byrne’s American Utopia: These first two were musical concert films that swept through the country in different ways. Hamilton was released to Disney+ before the 4th of July holiday and captivated audiences, giving them the opportunity to see the play without having to pay exorbitant prices for theater tickets. American Utopia on the other hand debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival before its HBO premiere in October, and the Spike Lee-directed recording of the Talking Head’s frontman’s ensemble Broadway show is a sight to behold.
Weathering with You: Makoto Shinkai’s follow-up to the uber-popular Your Name. may not have done the massive box office numbers that the former made, but it was just as beautiful. This was a Fathom Events screening back in January.
Time and I am Greta: My two favorite docs of 2020, Time tells the story of Fox Rich and her twenty-years documenting her raising her family while awaiting the release of her husband from prison for armed robbery. I am Greta follows climate-change activist Greta Thunberg from one of her first college protests through meeting the United Nations, all the while dealing with the ridicule of those on the other side of the spectrum as well as her struggles with Asperger’s.
The Assistant: Kitty Green, Director
Happiest Season: Clea DuVall, Director
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: George C. Wolfe, Director
One Night in Miami: Regina King, Director
The Platform: Carlos Juarez, Director
The Wolf of Snow Hallow: Jim Cummings, Director
Yes, God, Yes: Karen Maine, Director
The Half of It: Alice Wu, Director
Onward: Dan Scanlon, Director
Proxima: Alice Winocour, Director
Sputnik: Egor Abramenko, Director
Uncle Frank: Alan Ball, Director
4.25 Stars: #27-#21
#27- Tenet: Christopher Nolan, Director
#26- Swallow: Carlo Mirabella-Davis, Director
#25- On the Rocks: Sofia Coppola, Director
#24- Ammonite: Francis Lee, Director
#23- Love and Monsters: Michael Matthews, Director
#22- Babyteeth: Shannon Murphy, Director
#21- Black Bear: Lawrence Michael Levine, Director
Part two with my top twenty films of 2020 coming December 31st…